Heat is rarely a welcome guest in the enclosure. Accordingly, it is crucial to remove undesirable heat and to avoid further warming wherever possible to ensure trouble-free operation of the installed components. This task is frequently entrusted to a fan-and-filter unit – a cooling option which, in the past at least, has been denied the respect and appreciation it deserves. Rittal now offers a new generation of Blue e+ fan-and-filter units boasting an emergency cooling function and many other innovative features geared to smart climate control.
Fan-and-filter units are a popular and cost-effective solution wherever ambient air can be used to regulate the temperature in an enclosure. They are thus also by far the most frequent choice for enclosure climate control. Stepping out of the shadows, the new generation catches attention as a smart helper with numerous cool functions and a watchful eye for potential danger: With its emergency cooling function, for example, the new Blue e+ fan-and-filter unit responds actively to compensate for an unexpected temperature rise. This protects components from overheating and, in a worst-case scenario, avoids the costs associated with a system shutdown.
Tool-free handling saves time
The first benefits are already felt much earlier: The last generation of fan-and-filter units was already designed for tool-free mounting and maintenance, but the relevant mechanical components have now been given a full makeover. The snap-in hooks for unit mounting and the opening mechanism for filter replacement now function even more smoothly. Proven features such as simple reversal of the air flow direction and flexible positioning of the power connection have been retained. Further modifications relate to the overall Rittal design, with the grille slats now arranged vertically. This has all been done without affecting the protection rating.
Intelligence packed into a minimum of space
Blue e+ fan-and-filter units are available in five sizes, covering eight output classes from 20 m³/h to 1,160 m³/h air throughput. The AC/DC models cater to all basic requirements, while an EMC variant is available for applications that place special demands on the electromagnetic shielding of housings. EC technology permits speed control and fan monitoring via an analogue interface. Temperature regulation is adapted to the actual conditions – a smart function that saves energy and extends the service life. The new generation takes up this lead and offers further benefits such as a wide power input range (100–240 V) and a ModBus interface for monitoring, control and alarm functionalities.
Full control via an IoT interface
Fan-and-filter units which are integrated via the Rittal IoT interface supply information on status, capacity utilisation, operating hours and energy consumption. If several enclosures are standing nearby, therefore, it is possible to locate the exact source of critical heat build-ups and to determine the associated fan-and-filter unit. The operator is informed and the emergency cooling function of the fan-and-filter unit is activated as soon as the temperature exceeds the alarm threshold value. An increase in fan speed and thus air throughput delays possible overheating. The fan-and-filter unit returns to its normal operating mode as soon as the temperature drops back below the threshold value. In addition to operational security, the new generation provides an even longer service life: The automatic filter cleaning function blows dust particles out of the filter several times a day. Operators can also define a virtual operating period as the basis for a display of the time remaining until the next filter replacement is due – in a similar manner to the fuel gauge of a motor vehicle. This facilitates the planning of maintenance on demand, which saves further time and expense.
As far as the principal task of a fan-and-filter unit is concerned, namely maximum particle retention while at the same time allowing as much air as possible to pass, Rittal is setting new standards with its pleated filters. Thanks to the pleating, the surface area is six times larger, air throughput is increased by 40 per cent, and maintenance intervals can be doubled or even tripled, depending on the application. Together, these features of the new generation of Blue e+ fan-and-filter units raise this conventional form of enclosure climate control to a new level.